Try the “Name It to Tame It” technique when a stressor arises. Identifying an intense emotion (“naming”) has the effect of reducing the stress and anxiety (“taming”) the brain and the body that that emotion is causing. Gently reflect on these painful emotions right after a stressful event occurs using this 4-step “Name It To Tame It” technique:
1. Locate and notice the feeling of stress in your body. Where did the stress arise in your body? Maybe you noticed a tightness in your chest or that your breathing quickened.
Take a slow and deep breath in.
2. Recognize and name the situations that are triggering this stress. Maybe they are rooted in a conflict with a work colleague or pressure for an upcoming audit.
Name the trigger and then exhale.
3. Recognize and name the emotion that accompanies this trigger. Try to precisely label the emotion you are feeling.
Name the emotion and inhale.
4. Notice the changes the previous steps had on our body’s physical response to stress. Maybe our shoulders relaxed or our breathing deepened.
Our bodies’ stress response is a cue for us to pay attention and act. When we notice these physical changes, we are empowered to create a healthy distance between ourselves and that emotion, experiencing our emotions rather being controlled by them, and preventing ourselves from getting swept up in an emotional outburst. By exploring deeper within, noticing the external factors and consequent physical changes that impact our roots of emotional wellbeing, we can develop a skillset to use at any point.